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CoNLL 2008 : The Twelfth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning


When Aug 16, 2008 - Aug 17, 2008
Where Manchester, UK
Submission Deadline Apr 28, 2008
Notification Due Jun 6, 2008
Categories    NLP   computational linguistics   machine learning

Call For Papers

CoNLL is the yearly conference organized by SIGNLL (the ACL Special

Interest Group on Natural Language Learning). Previous CoNLL meetings

were held in Madrid (1997), Sydney (1998), Bergen (1999), Lisbon

(2000), Toulouse (2001), Taipei (2002), Edmonton (2003), Boston

(2004), Ann Arbor (2005), New York (2006) and Prague (2007). This

year, 2008, CoNLL will be collocated with COLING in Manchester, UK.

See and

for more information about SIGNLL and CoNLL. The official Web site

of CoNLL-2008 can be found at

CoNLL is an international conference for research on natural language

learning. We invite submission of papers about natural language

learning topics, including, but not limited to:

* Computational models of human language acquisition

* Computational models of the evolution of language

* Machine learning methods applied to natural language

processing tasks (speech processing, phonology, morphology,

syntax, semantics, discourse processing, language

engineering applications)

* Statistical methods (Bayesian learning, graphical models,

kernel methods, statistical models for structured problems)

* Symbolic learning methods (rule induction and decision

tree learning, lazy learning, inductive logic programming,

analytical learning, transformation-based error-driven learning)

* Biologically-inspired methods (Neural Networks, Evolutionary Computing)

* Reinforcement learning

* Active learning, ensemble methods, meta-learning

* Learning architectures for structural and relational NLP tasks

* Computational learning theory analysis of language learning

* Empirical and theoretical comparisons of language learning methods

* Models of induction and analogy in linguistics

Special Topic of Interest


This year we wish to encourage the submission of papers on models that

explain natural phenomena relating to human language. This has two


The first concerns the central scientific problem addressed by CoNLL:

the study of first language acquisition. The only systems that we know

of that can process language accurately are humans; the acquisition of

their first language by infant children is one of the central problems

of cognitive science. We invite papers that address this problem using

computational models; including papers that address purely linguistic

aspects of the problem, papers that model psycholinguistic data, or

papers that apply learning theoretic analysis to language acquisition.

The second theme is the central engineering problem: how to build

systems that do something useful: we are interested in complete

systems that solve real problems. Thus we particularly invite papers

that are evaluated on naturally occurring annotations, such as machine

translation, language modelling, or question answering. We are also

interested in work that evaluates the contribution of components which

predict linguist-defined intermediate structure such as part-of-speech

tags, semantic roles, or syntactic analyses to the performance of real

systems. Important issues such work might study are the correlation

of the component's performance on the sub-task with its impact on the

end system performance and alternative architectures for incorporating

predictions from different components.

Shared Task:


The shared task for this CoNLL is "Joint Parsing of Syntactic and

Semantic Dependencies".

The task proposes the merging of both syntactic dependencies

(extracted from the Penn Treebank ) and semantic dependencies

(extracted both from PropBank and NomBank) under a unique unified

representation. The task has several novel objectives:

1. The first objective, performing Semantic Role Labeling (SRL) on

a dependency-based representation, is to our knowledge novel.

Furthermore, the SRL problem will address not only propositions

centered around verbal predicates but also around nouns.

2. The syntactic dependencies to be modeled will be more complex

than the ones used in the previous CoNLL evaluations: Johansson

and Nugues have shown that a richer set of syntactic dependencies

improves semantic processing (Johansson & Nugues 2007).

3. The proposed evaluation offers a practical framework to perform

joint learning for the two problems.

Organised by

Mihai Surdeanu

Richard Johansson

Lluís Màrquez

Adam Meyers

Joakim Nivre

The organisers can be contacted at

A detailed description is available at

Invited Speakers


(to be announced)

Main Session Submissions


A paper submitted to CoNLL-2008 must describe original, unpublished work.

Submit a full paper of no more than 8 pages in PDF format by April 28 2008,

electronically through a web form at

(Please check back for exact URL).

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Submissions should

follow the two-column format of ACL proceedings and should not exceed

eight (8) pages, including references. We strongly recommend the use

of the Coling 2008 LaTeX style files or Microsoft Word Style files

tailored for this year's conference. Papers must conform to the

official Coling 2008 style guidelines. Authors who cannot submit a

PDF file electronically should contact the program co-chairs.

Since reviewing will be blind, the paper should not include the

authors' names and affiliations, and there should be no

self-references that reveal the authors' identity. In the submission

form, you will be asked for the following information: paper title,

authors' names, affiliations, and email addresses, contact author's

email address, a list of keywords, abstract, and an indication of

whether the paper has been simultaneously submitted to other

conferences (and if so which conferences). The contact author of an

accepted paper under multiple submissions should inform the program

co-chairs immediately whether he or she intends the accepted paper to

appear in CoNLL-2008. A paper that appears in CoNLL-2008 must be

withdrawn from other conferences.

Authors of accepted submissions are to produce a final paper to be

published in the proceedings of the conference, which will be

available at the conference for participants, and distributed

afterwards by ACL. Final papers must follow the Coling 2008 style and

are due 1 July, 2008.

Shared Task Submissions


See the shared task web page (

for updated information.

Important Dates


Paper submission deadline: 28 April 2008

Notification of acceptance of papers: 6 June 2008

Deadline for camera-ready papers: 1 July 2008

Conference: August 16-17, 2008

Conference Organizers


Alex Clark

Department of Computer Science

Royal Holloway, University of London

alexc (at)

Kristina Toutanova

Microsoft Research

kristout (at)

Shared Task Organizers


Mihai Surdeanu

Richard Johansson

Lluís Màrquez

Adam Meyers

Joakim Nivre

Information Officer


Erik Tjong Kim Sang

University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

erikt (at)

Program Committee (Preliminary)

* Eneko Agirre, University of the Basque Country, Spain

* Regina Barzilay, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

* Roberto Basili, University of Roma, Tor Vergata, Italy

* Thorsten Brants, Google Inc, USA

* Paula Buttery, Cambridge University, UK

* Xavier Carreras, Polytechnical University of Catalunya, Spain

* Eugene Charniak, Brown University, USA

* Nick Chater, University College London, UK

* Colin Cherry, Microsoft Research, USA

* Stephen Clark, Oxford University, UK

* James Cussens, University of York, UK

* Walter Daelemans, University of Antwerp, Belgium

* Hal Daumé III, University of Utah, USA

* Radu Florian, IBM, USA

* Dayne Freitag, Fair Isaac Corporation, USA

* Jianfeng Gao, Microsoft Research, USA

* Daniel Gildea, University of Rochester, USA

* Marti Hearst, SIMS, UC Berkeley, USA

* Philipp Koehn, University of Edinburgh, UK

* Anna Korhonen, Cambridge University, UK

* Shalom Lappin, King's College, London, UK

* Roger Levy, UC San Diego, USA

* Rob Malouf, San Diego State University, USA

* Yuji Matsumoto, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, Japan

* Rada Mihalcea, University of North Texas, USA

* Alessandro Moschitti, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy

* John Nerbonne, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

* Hwee-Tou Ng, National University of Singapore, Singapore

* Franz Josef Och, Google, Inc., USA

* David Powers, Flinders University, Australia

* Chris Quirk, Microsoft Research, USA

* Ellen Riloff, University of Utah, USA

* Dan Roth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

* William Sakas, Hunter College, CUNY, USA

* Anoop Sarkar, Simon Fraser University, Canada

* Suzanne Stevenson, University of Toronto, Canada

* Richard Sproat, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA

* Mihai Surdeanu, Polytechnical University of Catalunya, Spain

* Antal van den Bosch, Tilburg University, The Netherlands

* Dekai Wu, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Hong Kong

* Charles Yang, University of Pennsylvania, USA

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